What’s It Like Eating at the Highest Restaurant in the World?



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At 2,717 feet, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai is the world’s tallest building. And guess what? That’s where you’ll find At.mosphere, the world’s highest restaurant, which stands at 1,450 feet, on the 122nd floor of the building. If you’re afraid of heights, maybe don’t opt for the window seat.

It is open for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea — and it certainly puts a spin on “high tea.” There is also lounge seating available for people who just want to enjoy the view with a few drinks rather than a sit-down meal. In the lounge area, you can enjoy items like lobster tacos or the ATM burger, composed of Waygu beef, foie gras, and braised onions.

Be prepared to spend some money, though; the prices are as high as the restaurant’s elevation. A slice of cheesecake will set you back 120 UAE dirhams ($32). If you want Champagne, you’d better be able to pay for it; a bottle can cost up to 30,000 UAE dirhams ($8,167). Afternoon tea costs 580 UAE dirhams ($157) per person, and a prix fixe dinner with wine costs 17,000 UAE dirhams ($462) per person. Go big or go home, right?A slice of cheesecake will set you back 120 UAE dirhams ($32)

As for the experience, we selected a few TripAdvisor reviews from the past year to get some insight. It scored an average of four stars and has received 1,345 reviews. Daniel L. from Sydney, Australia, writes: “By far, the best restaurant I have been too [sic]. The food and service were amazing. We dined for my wife's birthday. We had a window view which, at first, can be nerve-racking looking down 122 floors but after 5 minutes, you become used to it.” Here’s another good review: “I have to be honest I was fully expecting a bit of a tourist trap, overpriced and riding on its location. I was delighted to be put wrong, so wrong. This small selective menu was talked about with passion by our waiting staff and the food was delicious - the location and views are actually just an additional benefit,” writes Blue T of Dubai, UAE.

Not all the reviews are good, though. “Well worth missing the place as food and service is poor and there is no atmosphere pardon the pun so miss it out [sic],” writes Harry M. of Glasgow, United Kingdom. “Ridiculous pricing,” writes 46Peter46 from Doha, Qatar, “but a must do at least once, for the view if not the taste of the cuisine.”

Here’s the review that seems most true, from FreeNomadicSoul of Mumbai, India: “Expensive but does give you a high.”


To save any of these quotes about food, simply right click and “Save As”.

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” Virginia Woolf

“Food brings people together on many different levels. It’s nourishment of the soul and body it’s truly love.” Giada De Laurentiis

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” Ernestine Ulmer

“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” Alan D Wolfelt

“Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.” Harriet van Horne

“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.” Barbara Johnson

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” John Gunther

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.” Federico Fellini

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.” W. C. Fields

“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” Luciano Pavarotti


Guinea Pig Specs

Adult guinea pigs weigh in at around 0.5kg (1lb) to 1.2kg (2.5lb) and measure 20cm (8 inches) to 40cm (16 inches) in length. Think small chicken. And that’s exactly what it tastes like. Well, not exactly, but close enough. Cuy is a tastier meat than chicken, in my opinion, having a bit more oil and faint ‘gamey’ flavour to it. The meat is actually low in fat but high in protein so it could be considered a pretty healthy food. Higher in protein than most animal products westerners eat daily, cuy is a meat Paleo people will love. It’s more of a dark meat than even the leg of chicken and punches above its weight in the nutrient category.

Cave Porcellus (the scientific name you can use to impress foodie friends) is eaten in Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. You can find cuy asado (roasted guinea pig) on menus in some Andean, Peruvian or Ecuadorian specialist eateries in New York, Los Angeles, and a few other US cities with sizeable South American populations. Diego Oka, Executive chef at La Mar, Gaston Acurio‘s Miami Restaurant, served up guinea pig at the restaurant for Peruvian Independence Day. Cuy dishes form part of the Novoandina (New Andean) cuisine movement but most regions in Peru will have their own recipe.

Guinea pigs bred for food are eaten once they have reached a couple of months old. They are served pretty much as a fish would be served, often only the intestines are removed. The head is edible and many people are very fond of this part. That’s going a bit too far for me but the rest of the animal is great to eat.

Will Guinea Pigs one day be served in restaurants worldwide? It’s possible. As the world looks at alternatives to beef and other livestock for meat there is potential for new protein sources to become mainstream. Globalisation has made people more open to new foods. Cricket protein might seem gross to some people but its popularity is growing fast. If insect protein is the future then why not guinea pig meat? It’s got more taste than crickets, the animals are less destructive to the environment than cows and the meat is relatively easy to produce.

If you find yourself in Peru look for a cuyería (cuy restaurant) where the typical dish is roasted guinea pig (cuy al horno). The fried version (cuy chactado) is tastier because, well, fried food is always tastier. The cooking method and how you eat cuy are personal choices but it’s worth following the lead of the locals. Cusco is your best bet for a good cuyería.


5 Reasons Eating Will Always Be the Best Part About Traveling

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We all love traveling. There’s sight-seeing, meeting new people, the ability to take shameless Segway tours, and let’s not forget about the endless amounts of Instagram posts. But the best part of all is the food.

Different areas of the world have so many new flavors and dishes that you would never even think of. From decadent scoops of gelato to exotic acarajé, there is always something fun to try. The possibilities are endless. Here are more reasons why food trumps all aspects of traveling.

1. You Discover Foods You’ve Never Tried Before

There are so many dishes in other countries that you would never try if you do not traveled outside the U.S. Traveling somewhere new opens your eyes and your taste buds to a whole new range of authentic flavor profiles and foods that you would’ve otherwise been missing out on.

If you’ve traveled to Poland, you know about the famous pierogis, a traditional Polish dumpling stuffed with various meats and vegetables. These are some of the most delicious (not to mention cheap) things you’ll ever eat in your life. If you’ve never tried them, get on it with this recipe.

Discovering a new food while traveling is reason enough to go back to a country someday. So, if you’ve traveled a lot, you have a lot of countries to visit in the near future.

2. You Experience Foods You Eat at Home in a New Way

While discovering completely new foods in a foreign country is amazing, so is trying a food you’ve eaten many times before and finding a completely new flavor in it. Foods in other countries have so much more flavor than the American versions of them.

For example, mozzarella cheese in Italy has so much more flavor than the kind at your nearest grocery store. The taste and texture can be so different that it may seem like you are trying a new food for the first time.

3. A Country’s Food Tells You A Lot About Their Culture

It’s so cool going to a different country and seeing how much you can tell about a culture and what they value purely based on their food. Take Costa Rica for example. The country’s motto is “pura vida” which means “pure life.” The country and its people truly embody that.

Their staple meal is a meal consisting of rice, sweet plantains, and your choice of either beef, chicken, or fish, all of which are very fresh. It’s such a simple meal because that’s what they as a country and culture represent: simplicity. Therefore, you can expect a lot of fresh fish and chicken, a lot of beautiful fresh fruit, rice, and not much else.

On the other hand if you look at France as a country, especially Paris, their staple foods are nice bread, fine cuts of meat, decadent desserts, expensive cheese, and beautiful wine (often the two are paired together).

They as a country tend to value the finer things in life – for them, it’s better to eat a small amount of something truly exquisite than a lot of a poorer-quality product. The Parisian aesthetic is elegance and class at every turn.

4. Food Brings People Together

Photo by Josephine Rozman

There’s nothing better than experiencing new food with others who are just as ecstatic about it as you are. Find a family member or a friend that shares the same love of food that you may have. You’ll bond over the amazing new foods you try, what you should try next, and what cool restaurants you should go to while traveling.

Food also helps you meet new people. It is always cool to strike up a conversation with a stranger at the table over about their dessert that looks just as good as the picture on the menu. You may make a new friend and try something new that you may never have thought to try.

5. You Gain New Flavors and Dishes to try at Home

Going to a new country and trying new dishes and experiencing new flavors means you get to come home with so many things to try in your own kitchen. Sure, it might not taste exactly like that pasta you had in Rome, but hey in the real world you can tell yourself it’s just as good, right?

One of the best parts of traveling and trying new things is to bring home that knowledge you didn’t have before to use it, so take advantage of it. The kitchen is a place where you can travel to any country without having to ever leave your house, so get cooking, friends.


8 Pasta With Basil Sauce: Trenette Al Pesto

If you’ve never liked your greens, a good way to be converted would be to eat trenette al pesto. While the north of Italy is known less for pasta dishes and more for rice and polenta, the beautiful region of Liguria did come up with this divine pasta dish.

Trenette is a kind of pasta that looks similar to linguine. The basil sauce known as pesto is now widely available all over the world. But if you want the very best and most authentic version, you still have to go to Liguria!


What to Nosh in the North Star State: Minnesota's Most-Iconic Dishes

Replete with Scandinavian, Italian and other far-away influences, Minnesota is the little-known destination for diverse yet comforting fare.

Related To:

Minnesota's Best Bites

If you thought Minnesota was all Scandinavians and lakes, take this culinary tour for a view of the real North Star State. Yes, you'll see your fair share of Swedish meatballs &mdash they're delicious! &mdash but you'll also explore the abundance of local ingredients, along with Minnesota's diverse immigrant communities and the food they've brought with them. And the lakes? Well, let's just say the fish are biting, and you will be too!

Illustration by Hello Neighbor Designs

Swedish Meatballs

Minnesota has been home to Swedish immigrants for more than 150 years, and they've certainly left a mark on the state's food culture. Though many Scandinavian dishes have become iconic here in the north, few seem to have the pervasive reputation of Swedish meatballs. Fika, in the Swedish American Institute, has elevated the comforting spiced, cream-sauced meatballs to a new level. Perfectly seasoned with allspice, juniper and pepper, Fika’s meat morsels are served with creamy mashed potatoes, sweet pickles and of course, the traditional partner to all respectable Nordic meatballs, lingonberries.

Wild Rice Soup

Wild Rice, which is not actually rice at all, but grass seed, is Minnesota's state grain and one that's been lovingly embraced by Minnesotan cooks. You find it in everything from burgers, pancakes, hot dish and of course, the famous Minnesota wild rice soup. While you can find this soup, both creamy and brothy, on restaurant menus all over the state, the version Minnesotans love best, can't be found at any of the state's dining establishments. You can buy it by the cup or the quart at Lunds & Byerlys grocery stores. This upscale chain, which has been in the Twin Cities for generations, has a loyal following when it comes to its iconic soup. Rich, creamy and comforting, the soup is studded with chunks of ham, loads of wild rice, veggies and crunchy almond slices. You can take it to go, or enjoy it in one of their in-store cafes.

Hot Dish

It might look like a casserole to you, but ask any Minnesotan what they call this combination of beef or chicken, veggies and canned cream of mushroom soup &mdash traditionally topped with Tater Tots &mdash and the response will be "hot dish." This easy to make casserole can be found everywhere from church suppers to family reunions. It&rsquos even at the center of a highly competitive culinary competition that pits the state&rsquos congressional delegation against one another to see just who makes the best hot dish. While it&rsquos mostly a dish made at home, The Mason Jar, located in Eagen, serves a version that will remind you of your grandmother&rsquos cooking, if your grandmother made everything from scratch. Ground beef is browned and stirred into a rich and creamy mushroom sauce, and draped over tots. Melted cheddar cheese and a few more tots crown the top for rib-sticking glory.

Artisan Bread

Once known as the "Flour Milling Capital of the World," Minneapolis and St. Paul have a rich history when it comes to baking, which is probably why it isn't hard to find incredible artisan bread in Minnesota. While there are many places to turn to for a good loaf, Rustica is thought to be one of the best. Founded more than a decade ago, Rustica offers a variety of homemade breads (the levain alone is worth the price of admission), but it also has to-die-for pastries and cookies. While at Rustica, do not miss some of the best coffee in town, ideal for pairing with pastries.

Photography courtesy of Rustica Bakery

Polish Sausage

While most people think of Scandinavians when they think about Minnesota's immigrant communities, Eastern Europeans have been settling in the North Star State since the 19th century, bringing their hearty cuisine with them. The Kramarczuk family came in a wave of Ukrainian immigration post World War II and, soon after, opened a delicatessen, bakery and restaurant. More than 60 years later, Kramarczuk's is a Minnesota institution and the best place to go for a taste of the hearty foods of the Ukraine. Whether you're craving sausages or varenyky (pierogi-like dumplings), Kramarczuk's north Minneapolis location likely serves them. On a warm summer day, head to the Twins' Target Field for a Kramarczuk's polish sausage from the ballpark stand, where they sell more than 1,500 links during the average game.

Photography courtesy of Katie Cannon Photography

Baked Goods

Minnesota's deep affection for baked goods is a critical, long-nurtured relationship. Formerly known as Mill City, Minneapolis has long been associated with bread and baked goods, and no one in town bakes them better than James Beard Foundation Award-nominated Pastry Chef Michelle Gayer at Salty Tart Bakery. Michelle is a rock star in the kitchen, a fact that's evident in every bite of her cookies (don't miss the coconut macaroons), pastries, breads and desserts. The ultra-Minnesota Surly cake (also sold in cupcake form) is a moist, deeply chocolate cake with a whipped cream filling and crazy good fudge frosting, along with a not-so-secret ingredient, Minnesota's own Surly Furious Beer. The beer gives the cake a mild, but distinctive flavor that sets it apart from other, more traditional chocolate cakes. Why did Michelle choose Surly Furious to go into her cake? "It matches the way I feel." Yeah, don't mess with Michelle.

Blueberry Walnut Pancakes

Northern Minnesota may be the land of blueberries, but Al's Breakfast, in Minneapolis' Dinkytown, is the land of, well, breakfast, at least in the Twin Cities. A stop at Al's is on most visitors' bucket lists, thanks to a wait staff that's sassy &mdash in that Minnesota-nice kind of way &mdash and pancakes loaded with fresh blueberries and tons of crunchy walnuts. Yes, the food here is incredible, including the famous "The Jose" &mdash crispy hash browns, topped with a mountain of melted cheddar, homemade salsa and a poached egg &mdash and the addictive waffles, and the atmosphere is lively. Be prepared for a wait, though. Al's seats only 14 people at a counter, which means the wait can be long, but it's worth it. Besides, you may make a few friends while you wait. Sharing body heat has a way of breaking the ice on a cold Minnesota morning.

Pecan Caramel and Cinnamon Rolls

Rolls are cofffee&rsquos best friend, and a critical companion on icy winter mornings. Whether you favor cinnamon rolls or pecan caramel rolls, a visit to Duluth&rsquos Best Breads should sate any craving. With a motto of "product quality, slick branding, and hilarious jokes,&rdquo the bakery prepares large-as-your-head rolls from handcrafted, cold-fermented dough, for rolls so tender and flavorful they hardly need sticky, pecan-studded caramel or cascades of sweet icing. While you&rsquore at the Duluth&rsquos Best Bread, trying to decide between caramel and icing, do yourself a favor and buy a loaf of the Wild Rice Cranberry Bread. It&rsquos moist, slightly sour, slightly sweet, slightly nutty and completely addictive.

Minnesota has a pie addiction. It's an addiction that compels bakers all over the state to roll out flakey crusts and fill them with fresh, locally grown berries or lemon curd topped with mile-high meringue. You can find homemade pie on many Minnesota restaurant and bakery menus, but none better than the New Scenic Café on Minnesota's North Shore, where Chef-Owner Scott Graden has been making pies, and other wonderful dishes, since 1999. "Minnesota folks have a long history of resourcefulness," says Graden, "of putting what's around to good use," which he does to great effect, using local berries, rhubarb, acorn squash, pumpkin and other produce to fill his buttery, flaky crusts.

Photography courtesy of Scott Graden

Gravlax

For many, no trip to Minnesota would be complete without a stop at the American Swedish Institute. Located in the historic Turnblad Mansion in Minneapolis, the ASI is a gathering place for people to share the arts and culture of Sweden. Arrive hungry, because the ASI is also home to one of the best restaurants in town, Fika. In Sweden, fika is a daily break, traditionally involving coffee and pastries. While Fika embraces the spirit of its namesake, it goes far beyond a coffee break. Mornings mean coffee with egg tarts and Swedish-inspired housemade pastries (the cardamom bun is worth a journey). Lunch and dinner mean fresh salads, innovative soups and signature dishes such as Swedish meatballs and gravlax. The gravlax is delicately flavored with dill and other spices, then artfully arranged on a plate that looks too pretty to be edible. Wash it down with the housemade aquavit. Skoal!

Photography courtesy of Jon Dahlin

Turkey Burger

Minnesota's 450 turkey farmers raise more turkeys &mdash 46 million per year &mdash than those in any other state in the U.S., so it's not surprising that Minnesotans know what they're doing when it comes to cooking turkey. You can find it in all kinds of dishes, but Birchwood Café has served "good real food" since 1995, using locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients. You&rsquoll find a turkey burger on each of its eight seasonal menus, changing toppings based on what the farmers provide. Seasonal specials include Summer's Tour de France burger and Dusk's Thanksgiving Delight, with cranberry pear chutney, root vegetable puree, leeks and Brussels sprouts &mdash so good you won't have trouble gobbling it up at any time of year.

Photography courtesy of Megan Swenson

Porketta/Porchetta

The Iron Range in Northern Minnesota attracted immigrants from all around the world to work in the iron-ore mines, and with them came dishes from their homelands. Porketta came to Minnesota along with thousands of Italian immigrant miners. Slightly different from authentic Italian porchetta, Iron Range porketta is a fennel-and-garlic-seasoned pulled pork hailing from Minnesota, and no one does it better than Porchetteria at Terzo in South Minneapolis. Owned and operated by the Broder family (check out Broders' Cucina Italiana and Broders' Pasta Bar, all within a block of the Porchetteria), Terzo serves a version inspired by family trips to the Iron Range, offered in a variety of mouthwatering sandwiches, as well as an irresistible polenta bowl. The favorite may be the Calabrian, made with seasoned roast pork, fennel-current-radicchio slaw and Calabrian pepper aioli on a ciabatta bun. Get it at the daytime-only takeout window or at the wine-bar restaurant. Bring napkins.

Photography courtesy of Andy Swarbrick

Lefse

Lefse is a traditional Norwegian flatbread made with flour, potatoes, cream and butter, and in Minnesota, it is a holiday favorite. During the holiday season, the lines at Ingebretsen's, Minneapolis' home of everything Scandinavian, are legendary, reaching out of the meat-market side of the store, snaking through the gift shop, bursting out the door and winding down the block on Lake Street. The crowd greets friends and neighbors &mdash and sometimes even bursts into song. If the holiday line is intimidating, you can buy lefse, as well as a wide variety of other Scandinavian treats, all year long.

Photography courtesy of Molly Ingebretsen

Smoked Fish

You may have heard that Minnesota has a few lakes, so it should come as no surprise that it also has a few lake trout. One of the best ways to experience the trout is smoked at Duluth's Northern Waters Smokehaus. The Smokehaus has been smoking Lake Superior trout and whitefish, as well as Atlantic salmon, since 1998 and selling thousands of pounds a year at its shop and restaurant. While the smoked lake trout and whitefish draw rave reviews, the most-popular item on the restaurant menu is the Cajun Finn. This sandwich, created one afternoon to satisfy a regular customer who loved the smoked salmon with Cajun seasoning, features scallion cream cheese, sliced roasted red peppers, sliced pepperoncini and mixed greens on a freshly baked stirato roll. You can eat it at the restaurant or get it to-go for a picnic on the North Shore.

Photography courtesy of Mary Tennis and Cher Matamoros

Minnesota is home to a large Vietnamese and Hmong community, including great restaurants serving authentic versions of the cuisines. Pho, a Vietnamese noodle soup, is one Minnesota has whole-heartedly embraced. St. Paul's Ngon Vietnamese Bistro is thought to have one of the best bowls of pho in the Twin Cities. Hai Truong, chef and owner, was 5 years old when his Vietnamese-Chinese family landed in Minnesota in 1979. He learned to cook in his family's restaurant and now owns his own restaurant, serving both Vietnamese and French fare. Truong uses locally sourced beef bones as the basis for the pho-nomenel broth, cooking the bones 36 hours for maximum flavor, before ladling the result over noodles and your choice of meat. Never fear vegetarians, Ngon serves a meatless version that's just as delightful.

Photography courtesy of Hai Truong

Wild Rice Patty Melt

Wild rice is Minnesota's state grain, and The Duluth Grill gives it proper due. The restaurant's menu features the official state grain in its famous Wild Rice Melt, made with pepper Jack cheese, caramelized onions, roasted red pepper vinaigrette and a housemade wild rice patty on grilled multigrain wheat. It's also showcased in a Minnesota Burrito Bowl with cilantro-lime wild rice. Looking for your wild rice fix at breakfast? Regulars know they can get it in any of the Grill's porridges or simply ask for the nutritious grain as a side.

Photography courtesy of Louis Hanson

Turtle Cake

Nestled in the lovely shopping districts of St. Paul's Grand Avenue, Café Latte has been a dining destination since 1984. This casual eatery, celebrating modern comfort food, is the perfect place to for soups and salads, but for a midshopping treat, go for the Turtle Cake. A staple since the Quinn family opened the doors, this three-layer cake is made with imported chocolate from Belgium, drizzled with buttery caramel, studded with extra-large roasted pecans. Double down on sugar with Tres Leches Cakes, another best-seller.

Popovers

Every morning, the kitchen at The Bachelor Farmer, led by James Beard Foundation Award-winning chef Paul Berglund, is popping. Or, rather, it's popover-ing. Prepare for a Scandinavian-leaning meal with a starting warm popover with honey butter. The history of the Minnesota popover and The Bachelor Farmer are closely linked. The Oak Grill, in what used to be Dayton's department store, is famous for popovers, and the Dayton family owns The Bachelor Farmer. The dots aren't hard to connect. While the Oak Grill still makes an excellent popover, the airy, crisp-on-the-outside and eggy-on-the-inside version at TBF is the best.

Photography courtesy of Erin Kincheloe

Juicy Lucy

Juicy Lucys can be a controversial topic in Minneapolis. There are disputes over who invented the burger, with the cheese on the inside of the patty. Two bars on Cedar Avenue, Matt's Bar and 5-8 Club, both claim the title of "home of the Juicy Lucy." While we don't take sides, we do know a good Juicy Lucy is a thing to behold. So in an effort to stay neutral, go for 6Smith's Venison and Kobe Juicy Lucy. A world away from the simpler versions on Cedar Avenue, 6Smith begins with a custom blend of Kobe beef and Minnesota elk formed into a patty stuffed with smoky Gouda, bacon jam and jalapenos. It's then topped with more Gouda and bacon jam and served on a pretzel bun. As if this decadent version of an iconic Minnesota dish isn't enough, 6Smith sits on the shores of Lake Minnetonka and the view rocks. So if you want the full Minnesota experience, 6Smith is a good place to get it.

Photography courtesy of 6Smith

Mini Doughnuts

To say that Minnesotans love their state fair would be an understatement. During the fair's 12-day run (ending on Labor Day), almost 2 million people congregate. While many ride the rides and visit the animals, most people go for the food. Toward the end of every summer, state fair food becomes the topic of local news shows, newspaper stories and magazine articles. While you can find a vast and filling array of options, usually skewered and deep-fried, mini doughnuts are the perennial favorite. Of course, once a year is not enough to enjoy these addictive little bites, so Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack decided to put them on their menu year-round. The constant line that forms at their food truck (parked at Mill City Farmer's Market every Saturday) will attest to the deliciousness of their Indian-spiced version. The rounds are available at their restaurant, Chef Shack Ranch, too.

Photography courtesy of Carrie Summer

Craft Beer

The craft-brewing movement has taken Minneapolis by storm, with more than 105 breweries producing over 630,000 gallons of beer a year. That's 5 gallons per adult over the age of 21 (Don't judge: Our winters are long up here!). At the eye of the craft-brewing storm has been Surly Brewing Company. What started out small, with distribution limited to the Twin Cities, has expanded to a juggernaut found throughout the Midwest. While they make a number of different beers, one of their most popular is Surly's Furious, a hybrid of the American IPA and British ESB styles, with citrusy hoppy aromas and flavors balanced out by a chewy caramel-malt backbone with a refreshing bitter finish. Pair the beer with some great food. The brewery's restaurant, The Brewer's Table, headed by Chef Jorge Guzman, has been recognized as one of the country's best new restaurants.


What 񟬰' Tells Us About Eating Under a Totalitarian Regime

“I wonder what a lemon was,” says Julia, the young rebel heroine of George Orwell’s 1984, after hearing a rhyme about lemons and oranges. “I can remember lemons,” says Winston, the novel’s protagonist. “They were quite common in the fifties. They were so sour that it set your teeth on edge even to smell them.” The novel, which your high school English teacher probably made you read so that you𠆝 understand the word “Orwellian,” has been in the news over the course of the last month for suddenly shooting to the tops of bestseller lists. It imagines a totalitarian future in which objective truth becomes obsolete and simple commodities like lemons become mythical.

In the fictionalized socialist nation of Oceania, the government rations goods to its citizens, and publishes only news that make the rations seem plentiful, even though they are barely enough to get by. Goods like coffee are replaced with artificial Victory Coffee, gin is replaced with synthetic Victory Gin, and sugar is replaced with the more readily available saccharine tablets. Over time, the people of Oceania have become accustomed to these approximations of once-common commodities and have lost their sensory memories of the foods—the way chocolate melts on the tongue and the way a little pile of sugar feels when you push a finger into it.

The chocolate rationed out to the masses is 𠇍ullbrown crumbly stuff” that tastes “like the smoke of a rubbish fire,” and Victory Gin gives of a “sickly, oily smell” and tastes “like nitric acid.” Eating in Oceania, like sex or reading, is a punishing, utilitarian activity, with little room for personal predilections. Few people remember a time when it was anything else, their palates flattened from years of propaganda and saccharine.

Part of Winston’s job, as an employee of the government-owned Times newspaper, is to rewrite older articles about supplies and rations so that the predictions made by the Ministry of Plenty are correct in every case. When the Ministry of Plenty incorrectly predicts and announces that no changes will be made to the chocolate ration in 1984, the easy and obvious solution when chocolate supplies come up short is to pull a quiet mathematical retcon and edit the old articles. If anybody remembers the article differently, there is no written evidence to corroborate their memory—only hunger.

At the end of a miserable lunch of “pinkish-grey stew” one day at the Ministry of Truth, Winston asks himself, “Had it always been like this? Had food always tasted like this?” On the one hand, Winston could not remember a time when food was plentiful or good. But on the other hand, “Was it not a sign that this was not the natural order of things, if one&aposs heart sickened at the discomfort and dirt and scarcity, the interminable winters, the stickiness of one&aposs socks, the lifts that never worked, the cold water, the gritty soap, the cigarettes that came to pieces, the food with its strange evil tastes?” In a world where scientific facts are filtered through the government and recorded history is in a state of constant revision, the “strange evil tastes” of food become some of the only pieces of static, tangible proof that the government might not be acting in the best interest of its people.

The moment Winston begins to question Big Brother and commit “thoughtcrime,” a Pandora’s box of illicit foods is opened for him. He starts an ill-fated affair with Julia, a young dissident from the Ministry of Truth who poses as a Party member. After their first rendezvous, she gives him a tiny piece of black market chocolate—something Winston has not tasted since he was a child, before Oceania and Big Brother.

The 'strange evil tastes' of food become some of the only pieces of static, tangible proof that the government might not be acting in the best interest of its people.

As the myth of Big Brother breaks down, so does the myth of a functioning ration system. Winston begins to see evidence of dissidence and evidence of a black market everywhere he looks or smells. Stopping by the home of a member of the Inner Party one night, Winston encounters wine for the first time in his life, 𠇊 thing he had read and dreamed about.” And because of her zealous action within the party, Julia has access to a world of elusive goods that Winston hasn’t glimpsed or smelled in decades—real “Inner Party” coffee, real milk, real jam, real tea, real sugar. But the more they both sink into the hedonism of these illegal pleasures, the closer they get to betraying their disloyalty to the Party.

For many who have grown up in non-fictional totalitarian governments, intricate systems of rationing, corruption, and black markets are a familiar reality. In Cuba, beef is a huge part of the culinary tradition and the cornerstone of one of the most popular Cuban dishes ropa vieja. But food is rationed and scarce, and it is almost impossible to find beef unless you accidentally run into a cow with a car or have connections to the black market, and restaurant owners can lose their businesses if they are found buying beef on the black market. As a result, beef is often replaced by creative amalgamations of pork, chicken, and mutton.


Colorado

To think, you might have gone your entire life without knowing about the sugar steak, the specialty of the house at Bastien’s in Denver, a serious steakhouse trapped, and happily so, in the body of a 1950s West Coast coffee shop-style structure, with whimsical, oversized neon signage out front to complete the illusion. The signature preparation here is simple, but terribly effective�ing white and brown sugar to the savory rub softens up even the most macho bone-in ribeye, resulting one seriously tender steak, never served here, proudly, beyond medium-rare.

If it is seriously vintage steakhouse vibes you’re after, Denver’s Buckhorn Exchange is, loudly and proudly, one of America’s oldest restaurants, established in 1893. The walls are a taxidermy enthusiast’s dream, and the Rocky Mountain Oysters remain one of the most famous dishes on the menu. Snap back to the almost-present at the Barolo Grill, which remains in many respects a portal to 1990s Denver restaurant culture a refreshed menu and expanded wine cellar, however, after the long-time general manager bought the restaurant in 2015, has kept the place feeling essential all these years later, it’s one of the city’s best. In Morrison, barely beyond the reaches of the ever-expanding Front Range suburbs, The Fort gained no small amount of national attention after opening in the 1960s, thanks to its colorful proprietor Sam Arnold, an early proponent of adding wild game to modern restaurant menus. To this day, elk, quail and buffalo are staples.


Kiersten Hickman/Eat This, Not That!

This recipe was inspired by a grandma who always loves to throw together a bowl of her famous "bean stew" for her family. Not one, but two Eat This, Not That! editors said that Pasta Fagioli is easily one of grandma's favorite recipes.

Get our recipe for Olive Garden Pasta Fagioli.


Lemon Desserts To Turn a Bad Day Around

When life hands you lemons, skip the lemonade and make a dessert. Tart, tangy, and sweet, they’re a scrumptious way to end a meal. We know dessert can turn a bad day around. When you add bright and refreshing lemon flavor to the recipe, we promise they’ll be smiles all around.

Super Simple Memorial Day Menu

Wow, this year is flying by. How is it almost Memorial Day? With life slowly returning to normal I’m having a group of friends and some family over for a Memorial Day barbecue. This year, I’m keeping the menu simple by grilling a couple of steaks, serving a few sides, and, of course, dessert. I [&hellip]

6 Pina Colada-Inspired Recipes

One sip of a pina colada and you’re transported to the tropics. Filled with pineapple, coconut, and rum flavor, they’re a summertime staple. Sometimes though, you want to enjoy the flavors of a pina colada without making a cocktail. When those cravings hit, try any of these pina colada-inspired recipes. They’re much less expensive to [&hellip]


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Thomas Busson

Thomas is a Passenger Rights and Flight Compensation expert. Frequent traveller, he loves sharing tips and news to help people make the most of travel.

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